Winter 2013

Winter 2013

Casualties of war

Casualties of war

Few questioned Annie Dookhan’s unbelievable output, perhaps because they were blinded by the war on drugs

One of the defendants affected by Annie Dookhan’s mishandling of drug lab tests seeks a later curfew before Special Magistrate Elizabeth Donovan. IT WAS THE SUMMER OF 2010. Robert Annunziata was in a car in Fall River with two other men when police pulled the vehicle over in front of Annunziata’s apartment and began asking(...)

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Cause development

Cause development

John Rosenthal is active on gun control, homelessness, and the environment -- and in his spare time is a developer

JOHN ROSENTHAL’S BLACKBERRY lit up. Media requests poured in from NECN, WCVB, and WBUR.  MSNBC wanted to talk. Even the Arabic-language network Al Jazeera found its way to his door. The crush of attention was not a pleasant development. News outlets call Rosenthal when terrible things happen, and a very terrible thing indeed had happened.(...)

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Police misconduct

Police misconduct

The Boston Police Department may be paying the price for letting a program to help troubled cops lapse

Outside the Area C police station in the Fields Corner section of Dorchester. Photo by J. Cappuccio. ON APRIL 22, 2009, CHRISTOPHER KNIGHT and his girlfriend were driving in Boston when they got into a fender-bender. The couple called police after the other driver refused to exchange insurance information and Officer Gerald L. Cofield Jr.(...)

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Solar state

Solar state

Gov. Patrick builds a fast-growing industry with big subsidies

ON APRIL 17, 2007, Gov. Deval Patrick traveled to Marlborough to make two announcements. One was that Evergreen Solar was going to stay in Massa­chusetts and open a $150 million solar panel manufacturing plant. The other was a commitment to increase the state’s solar power generating capacity from 2 to 250 megawatts by 2017. The(...)

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Tsongas coming into her own

Tsongas coming into her own

Neither caretaker nor token

THERE’S A LONG TRADITION in Washington of political wives following their husbands into office. Sometimes those spouses have an impact apart from anything their husband accomplished—think Hillary Clinton—but more often they’re reliable placeholders. They win votes because of the tradition they carry on and, in office, they follow the political path worn by their husbands.(...)

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Eminent domain for mortgages

Eminent domain for mortgages

Brockton, other cities consider novel idea

ON THE MORNING OF SEPTEMBER 28, Brockton police arrested 51-year old Tyrone Hubbard and his two sons for trespassing in their own home. Fannie Mae, the federally chartered purchaser of mortgages, was foreclosing on Hubbard’s house and wanted him out. Trying in vain to make peace was City Councilor Jass Stewart, who had arrived to(...)

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Only some opinions count

Only some opinions count

Two-thirds of 853 state-level polls were in 11 states

      PUBLIC OPINION SURVEYS, done well, offer people an opportunity to speak to their leaders in an organized way. But the hunt for Electoral College votes tends to put all the focus of presidential campaigns on the opinions of residents in a handful of contested states, leaving no opportunity for residents of less(...)

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Root of the problem

Root of the problem

Lawrence Lessig says our democracy has become thoroughly corrupted by the moneyed interests. Until we fix that, he says, we won't be able to tackle any of the country's big challenges

 “RICH” AND “POWERFUL” go together so naturally that they seem to be not just partners but synonyms. When it comes to the workings of our democracy, however, Lawrence Lessig says that bond has never been as tight as it is today. Wealth may always have a larger claim on power, but Lessig says money and(...)

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Is character key to student success?

Is character key to student success?

Two books make the case

AS A THOUGHT experiment, imagine you’re magically “shaping” a high school senior. You’re lucky. Her starting point is that she’s at the 80th percentile in both IQ and “character”—a composite measure of traits like grit, tenacity, and optimism. You can increase either variable, but only by lowering the other variable by the same amount. For(...)

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